Walking, with or without guidance, is a popular way to travel in East Iceland. The hiking routes in East Iceland are endless. Below are only a few ideas to get you started. You can also contact local tour operators and have them design a custom made hiking experience.
Breiðdalur central volcano is an ancient volcanic area above Breiðdalur valley and Berufjörður, It was the object of extensive research carried out by the English geologist George D.L. Walker who made East-Iceland teritary volocanologic phenomenons the main object of his professional work. The Breiðdalur area of volcanism is set with rhyolithic-inserts producing the mainstay of majestic mountain range separating Breiðdalur and Berufjörður, e.g. Mt. Flögutindur , Mt.Smátindar, Mt. Röndólfur, Mt. Slöttur and Mt. Stöng. The southern side of the volcanic formation is highly colourful and the intrusions assume an irregular aspect, set with tephra-layers . The site of the central volcano extends between Mt. Fossárfjall south of Berufjörður to Mt. Bæjartindur which towers above farm Þorgrímsstaðir in Breiðdalur. The western slope runs along Mt. Ófærunafir towards the west, whereas the eastern side - although highly eroded - extends east of Mt. Kerlingartindur, S- Breiðdalur. The southern region of Breiðdalur - the very centre of area - forms a basin where the excruciating heat has transformed the rock to such an extent that the basalt and the andestite have turned pale-green, making it problematic to tell them apart from the rhyolite. This can be clearly detected at river Innri-Ljósá Blágil ravine. The beforementioned chain of mountains was formed at a later date as the rhyolite wielded its way to the surface through the basalt layers, forming insertions on top of the massive tephra layers along the edges of the crater. Their remnants are visible in rhyolithic-rocks throughout the Breiðdalur region. This central volcano is considered to be of later date than its Álfta- and Reyðarfjörður counterparts. The Reyðarfjörður ignimbrite, a pyroclastic flow made as a burning hot mixture of particles and gases flew from the volcano, originated from Mt.Röndólfur, covering about 430 km² with a diameter of about 6 m. þykkt. This layer is linked the Mt. Skessa south of Reyðarfjörður, best known as the Skessulag. The immense volcanism of the area has resulted in a great variety of rare minerals and semi-precious stones on display at Petra's wonderful stone collection in Stöðvarfjörður and The Breiðdalur mineral museum in Breiðdalsvík.
By climbing seven of the peaks surrounding the fjord of Seyðisfjörður, one earns the prestigious title of "a Seyðisfjörður Mountain Viking". Mostly exceeding an altitude of 1.000 m, these mountains are as follows: Sandhólatindur, Bjólfur,Nóntindur, Hádegistindur, Strandartindur, Snjófjall and Bægsli. You´ll find guestbooks and ink stamps waiting on each peak. The cards for summit stamps and further details are available at the information centre in the ferry terminal, tel. +354 472 1551 and at www.seydisfjordur.is
Situated some distance above the highway connecting the villages Reyðarfjörður and Eskifjörður is the burial mound of a prophetess said to be a guardian angel of the area. According to legend, as long as her bones remain intact - and the cairn indicating the site is maintained - the prophetess will continue to fulfil her protective role. Thus, in 1627 as the Algerian pirates who had previously pillaged the South and the Westmann Islands, approached the eastern shore, the cunning lady produced a fog so massive that the scoundrels were compelled to take to sea and abandon their lugubrious plans of manhunt and massacre.
One of East Iceland's most illustrious spots is the Stórurð ("The Giant Boulders"), located to the east of the road leading to Borgarfjörður eystri. Stórurð lies below the small glacier west of Dyrfjöll mountains. It consists of gigantic tuff boulders, charming meadows and attractive ponds. This wonderful scene can be reached in 2.5 hours on foot from Vatnsskarð pass. To enjoy Dyrfjöll and Stórurð a whole day plan is highly recommended.
Apart from having recently been re-defined as Iceland's second-highest waterfall,the Hengifoss is particularly picturesque. The layers between numerous Tertiary lava strata yield a reddish colour particularly salient in the cliffs around Hengifoss. Moreover, underway towards Hengifoss, the Litlanesfoss presents impressive stands of basalt columns on both sides of the gorge. Usually the climb ends well below Hengifoss, at a point where it can easily be admired without crossing the river. However, if the flow is scarce - as is often the case in autumn - it is feasible to go closer and even enter a shallow cave behind the waterfall.
There is an easy walking path from the highway to Hengifoss
Jafnadalur is a valley in Stöðvarfjörður facing northward. At the core of the vale, there is Einbúinn - "The Hermit"- , a voluminous and solitary rock in otherwise flat surroundings. The Jafnadalur also boasts a 6 m. stonearch, located to the east of Mt. Álftafell. A walking trail connects Jafnadalur and fjord Fáskrúðsfjörður. These are agreeable surroundings and well-suited for short or extensive hikes.
The scenic Fardagafoss waterfall is situated close to the main road to Seyðisfjörður as it winds its way up the mountainside of Fjardarheiði, about 5 km from Egilsstaðir. The ascent from the parking area to the fall takes about half an hour. Under way you can enjoy the beautiful gorge and views over the whole valley. The last stage of the trail is not an easy walk, a chain is fastened in the cliff to get down to the water, but it´s worth it. Behind the waterfall is a small cave and there is a guest book.
Gerpir is the easternmost tip of Iceland.
Magnificent view, high rocks and cliffs (661 m alt.) Making your way along the edge of cliffs some 12 million years old is an experience you´ll never forget. Throughout the area ( "Gerpissvæðið") there are many marked trails, walking paths and hiking routes, construed by the hiking club Ferðafélag Fjarðamanna. Prior to visiting, obtaining a good map of the area is a sensible optinon - or getting in touch with a local information centre. The area is also popular among kayak enthusiasts and mountain bikers.
Hólmatindur is the mountain every inhabitant in Eskifjörður cherishes, towering 985 m. above sea level. It´s not an easy climb to the top but the stunning view is a reward in itself and worth your exertions. Once on the top the valiant mountaineer can write his /her name in a guestbook, and subsequently obtain one stamp in a succession of 5 needed in order to get the title Mountain Conqueror. This being an initiative organized by the local hiking club Ferðafélag Fjarðamanna.
The trail is open from June - September
A trail leading to the uppermost mountain slopes (>600 m.) offering a breathtaking view of the Fjord and the Snow Avalanche Barriers. Open from June until first snowfall in October/November. This 5 km. trail is passable for normal cars and busses and presents a rare opportunity for high altitude sights for those generally adverse to mountain climbing. Furthermore, the spot is ideal for paragliders. The ascent takes about 15-20 minutes from the Fjarðarheiði heath road up to the Snow Avananche barriers.
Sandfell is a distinctive 743m. high rhyolite mountain between Stöðvarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður. The best approach is from the south side of Fáskrúðsfjörður. The trail leaves the coastal road between Víkurgerði and Vík farms and proceeds along the Víkurgerðisá River before cutting west for the peak. The scenery is excellent en route, with views of Fáskrúðsfjörður, Andey and Skrúður islands. The ascent + descent takes approx. 5 hours..
Hiking with or without a guide us always a popular mode of travel and many hiking trails exist.